Film School: How to Make A Documentary (with In Depth Cine)

'5 Steps To Shooting A Documentary' | In Depth Cine '5 Steps To Shooting A Documentary' | In Depth Cine

Tips for your approach, from the overall vision to the nuts-and-bolts of realising it.

In Depth Cine identifies their five steps for working on a documentary project (including managing your subjects and your own expectations):

  1. Identify the content
  2. Gear
  3. Visual Style
  4. Sound
  5. Coverage

Of particular note is this approach, as a single camera operator, to capturing both speaker and reaction (or shot / reverse-shot):

'5 Steps To Shooting A Documentary' | In Depth Cine
‘5 Steps To Shooting A Documentary’ | In Depth Cine

Elaborating on the third step, visual style, he offers further Tips For Shooting A Cinematic Documentary:

Sharing overlap with fictional narrative work, is the approach to coverage – establishing vs single shots, and action vs reaction shots – to help build and resolve dialogue scenes:

Further Viewing

Documentarian and cinematographer Mark Bone has an entire series on his approaches to and experience with documentary storytelling:

Film-maker Danny Gevirtz highlights the overlap in his approach to his documentary work, with his music video and solo narrative work:

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